There were 529 burglaries reported in Canterbury in October, up from 458 for the same time last year.
Nationally, more than 57,000 burglaries were committed during the last financial year, of which fewer than 9000 were resolved by police.
National prevention manager Superintendent Bruce Bird said with many people about to head away on Christmas holiday, now was the time to protect your property.
"Keeping your home and your possessions safe can make all the difference between being a victim of a burglary or not.''
Mr Bird said a burglar would take any opportunity to get into your home - so don't present them with a chance.
"Some burglars are opportunistic and see an unsecured window or gate, taking the chance to commit a burglary, but many offenders are put off by houses which are secure and seem lived in.''
For those heading away for the holidays, getting a neighbour or a friend to turn a light on at night and clear your letterbox would help make the home look lived in, Mr Bird said.
Those with newspaper subscriptions should cancel them for the duration of their trip.
"If a burglar thinks you're at home they are less likely to attempt a break-in.''
Getting to know your neighbours better, installing a burglar alarm and even placing a "Beware of the Dog'' sign on your property could also deter burglars.
Don't leave keys hidden in the garden either, as burglars know all the places to look, Mr Bird said.
Burglars were less likely to steal items that were permanently marked or had their serial numbers recorded because they were harder to sell.
Recording the serial numbers of expensive items on the police community partnership website Operation SNAP also discouraged criminals from taking your property and meant a better chance of catching criminals if they handled or on-sold identifiable goods.
"If you see an unusual vehicle in your street or you see anyone acting suspiciously, don't hesitate to call police,'' Mr Bird said.
"You could be the difference between your neighbours becoming the victim of a burglary or not.''
Canterbury University criminologist Professor Greg Newbold said a surge in summer crime should be expected between Christmas and New Year.
There tended to be a spike in burglaries as people left their homes to go on holidays.
"There is always a rise in property crime in holiday areas such as motor camps, where expensive equipment such as boats, dive gear and fishing gear can be left lying around tent sites.''
Burglar proofing your home
- Set up or join a Neighbourhood Support group.
- Install deadlocks and get into the habit of always using them.
- Always lock doors and windows even while in the garden.
- Keep garden sheds and garages secure and lock away tools and ladders.
- Trim trees and remove shrubbery that could conceal burglars.
Reported burglaries Canterbury District
- 5538 in the year to June 30, 2012 - 727 resolved.
- 977 arrests.
- 7087 burglaries in the year to June 30, 2011 - 1009 resolved.
- 1323 arrests.
- 57,351 in the year to June 30, 2012 - 8594 resolved.
- 11,924 arrests.